Now that saving the Earth has become increasingly more popular and absolutely necessary, making every area of your business green, including fulfillment, is easier than ever. Many businesses are implementing green initiatives, and even online fulfillment providers are leading the way in this capacity. Whether you perform in-house fulfillment or using an outsourced provider, these tips will help you come up with ideas to implement earth-friendly practices in your business.
Packaging is probably the easiest ways that you can make your fulfillment process more “green”. Try:
- Using popcorn for packing material. Popcorn is biodegradable, unlike packing peanuts. There are also packaging filler brands that will dissolve in water, reducing the amount of packaging that makes it to a landfill. These are another good alternative to regular packing peanuts.
- Choosing boxes that are made from recycled paper or cardboard. Don't just stop there, though. Make sure that your boxes are made from a large amount of recycled product. 10% post consumer product might make you sound green, but it just isn't going to cut it from an earth-friendly standpoint.
- Buying labels made from recycled materials, too. You can buy labels for your packages that are made from 100% recycled material.
Changing your shipping can make a huge difference in your company's carbon footprint. Start by choosing a shipping company that uses biodiesel or natural gas instead of gasoline in their trucks. Also, look for a shipping company that practices eco-friendly initiatives, such as donating a percentage of profits to green charities.
Green Returns and Old Inventory
Many businesses around the country do a lot of great things for the planet, but then come up tragically short when it comes to product returns and inventory. Many businesses have the policy of destroying returned items or old inventory and using them as a write-off. Not only is this massively wasteful, it also contributes to making more landfills. Don't be like them. If you have inventory that you can't sell or that is slightly damaged donate it to one of your local charities or thrift stores such as Goodwill. You will still get a tax write-off, but you will be helping others and saving the Earth in the process.
Changing your fulfillment practices can have a positive impact on the environment, and making a change isn't that hard. You can even farm out the job to eco-contentious fulfillment warehouses if you don't have the time to do it yourself or can't spare the manpower. There's no excuse not to make a change for the better right away.
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